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  • Role: Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Location: London
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, PhD in Pharmacology

Wilma Shi

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After completing my undergraduate degree, I stayed on to do a PhD. I knew that I wanted to remain in science, but I soon discovered that academic research was not for me. I began researching options and stumbled across a job advert for ‘Trainee Patent Attorney’, not knowing at the time what exactly the job involved. However, since my experience seemed to fit the requirements, I decided to look into it. To my delight, it turned out to be a perfect match! I sent out a few applications and was extremely fortunate to be offered a place at J A Kemp.

I joined J A Kemp’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences Group in October 2014. I remember working on real cases on my first day, which was daunting initially. However, it is amazing how much you can learn on the job. Since then, I have been involved in prosecuting patent applications in the UK, Europe, and worldwide. I have handled work for different types of clients, ranging from universities to multinational biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and have worked on cases that span a wide variety of technology areas. There is always something new coming up that presents a different challenge, so I never get bored!

At J A Kemp, each trainee is assigned a mentor who oversees their professional and career development. A comprehensive in-house training programme is in place to equip each trainee with the necessary technical skills for carrying out their daily job, as well as to help them prepare for the professional exams. In addition, trainees have the opportunity to work with several different partners, which I understand is not always the case at other firms. I believe that being exposed to different working styles has helped me develop my ‘creativity skills’. Undeniably, these skills have proved to be useful, especially when formulating arguments in response to the patent examiner’s objections!

One thing that I particularly like about
J A Kemp is the exceptionally positive and supportive working environment. I am encouraged to ask for help whenever I get stuck and everyone is always willing to give a helping hand and offer their advice.

I feel very privileged to have entered this profession, and in particular, that I started my career with J A Kemp. If what you have learned and heard about the profession appeals to you, I urge you to start sending out applications. Good luck!

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